WHAT IS ETHEREUM GAS
THE NON-TECHNICAL GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS

ethereum gas

Log onto myetherwallet and try to send something.

It could be 1 ETH or it could be any of the various ERC-20 tokens that can be stored in your wallet.

Something that you might, actually definitely, will see is gas...

The gas limit and how quickly you want to send something over the ethereum network.

Although, most people have no idea what "gas" actually is and how it plays into Ethereum’s overall function as a platform.

Let’s break that down in a non-technical way.

Powering Ethereum

When you drive a car it is impossible to drive continuously, forever right?

Right, you would run out of gas.

Now hold that concept in your mind for a minute.

When you write a continuously looping script (computer code), it can quite literally go on forever.

And that is a problem, especially in our world based off of code.

So as long as power is being supplied to the system, and it can be running somewhere, for the duration of its life that script will continue to execute if it is continuous.

Until you build something into it.

Enter Ethereum Gas

Gas is both a safeguard and easy way to incentivize the Ethereum blockchain.

It helps to dissuade those wanting to saturate the blockchain by costing a lot of money in the form of Ether.

See Ethereum isn’t supposed to be the name of the currency.

The name of the currency ETH should be Ether, but after mass adoption starts kicking in it will always probably stay Ethereum.

Thus, while gas is a limit and price we can set, it functions like bits of Ether that help to run the network.

Every time there is a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain it requires gas.

This is the digital form of that liquid that allows your car to run for as long as you want to pay for it.

Want to send ETH from one person to another, that will cost a little gas.

Also known in other currencies as a transaction fee, gas was created to do a few marvelous things.

Gas Is What Miners Recieve As A Reward For Processing Transactions.

Head to https://etherscan.io/txsPending

You will see tons of pending ethereum transactions all with their specified gas limit and Gas GWEI price.

This is how, in the free market, blocks are specified and ordered on the market.

Miners can selectively choose what they want to process based off of the price that people are willing to pay.

Which can lead to attacks, based on spiking the price of the market, but rarely does.

These transactions, being fueled by gas, send the fee (in gas) to the miners who processed and verified it in the Ethereum blockchain.

And because of this, transactions are not guaranteed to enter the blockchain.

When people don’t want to spend enough gas or set their price too low, then often times the transaction gets denied or prolonged for a long time.

It's similar to the reason that Bitcoin Mempool’s fill up so much leading to long latency times.

Unless you are willing to pay a fee.

Gas Helps Stop Continuous Loops and Evil Machines

Because there is a fuel needed to run ethereum this helps stop continuous loops.

And the looming threat of evil machines.

It would help make it so, once out of Ether, the machine or loop could not continue to run its program.

Because its cost would be too high and then it would fall out of the loop.

Although, gas may not be around for long.

Ethereum Gas May Be Used Less Frequently In The Future

Currently gas is a good model to help incentivize miners and get rid of those trying to sabotage the system.

Despite that, it seems that with Ethereum’s new updates Gas may fall aside.

With off-chain modeling, the lightning network, proof of stake, sharding and much more, gas may become a thing of the past.

Which isn’t necessarily bad since its incentive could make transactions more expensive over time.

Granted only time and the developers of Ethereum will tell.

Thanks for reading,

The GCA Team

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